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A Weekend in Christchurch

South Island Teams

Exciting hands, excellent organisation, wonderful continuous catering and a full house of 38 teams at the Christchurch Bridge Club for this year’s South Island Teams.

For most of the event, it was close at the top though at the end, there was a very clear winning team, Grant Jarvis, Ken and Kathy Yule and Jan Alabaster, victors by 12 vps:

1. Grant Jarvis, Jan Alabaster, Kathy and Ken Yule


2. Blair Fisher, George Masters, Anthony Ker, Alan Grant


3. David Skipper, Johnny Davidson, Ella Pattison, Tim Schumacher


4. Val Gardiner, David Burn, Brian Callaghan, Christine Duckworth


5. John Wignall, Kris Wooles, Jane and John Skipper



South Island Teams winners 18.JPG                                      Blair George Alan Anthony S IS Teams 18.jpg
Grant Jarvis, WBF Vice President John Wignall,                         George Masters, Anthony Ker, Blair Fisher and Alan Grant
Ken and Kathy Yule and Jan Alabaster

Val Gardiner, David Burn, Christine Duckworth .JPG                                        Lenton team S Island teams 18.JPG
Val Gardiner with English visitors David Burn,                                Intermediate winners, Darryl Dowthwaite, Jan Lenton,
Christine Duckworth and Brian Callaghan.                                     Lizzy Horsey and Deborah Matthews
John Wignall presented the prizes. David,
Christine and Brian will all be playing in the
Commenwealth Games Bridge event and the
Gold Coast Congress.

Here then are two problems from the week-end for you to solve. The first is a bidding situation and the second is about an opening lead:

Dealer East, All Vul.

Spade-small AJ876

Heart-small AKT

Diamond-small 8

Club-small Q875

West          North         East            South

                                      Pass            1Spade-small

2Diamond-small              3Diamond-small              4Diamond-small             4Spade-small

5Diamond-small              Pass            Pass            ?

3Diamond-small is a game try in spades. Your bid?


Dealer East, All Vul.

East holds:

Spade-small 97643

Heart-small J65

Diamond-small A93

Club-small QJ

West          North         East            South

                                      Pass            2Heart-small

Pass            2NT            Pass            3Heart-small

Pass            3NT            All Pass

2Heart-small showed 6 cards in the 9-13 range with 3Heart-small in response to the 2NT enquiry showing a minimum hand with good hearts. What do you lead?

Round 2 Board 26

Don’t you love them (when you get them right) and hate them when you get them wrong? High level competitive decisions, that is. What’s right this time? In theory, the edict about “the 5 level belonging to the opposition” was wrong this time with 5Spade-small only down by one trick, though the fate of 5Club-small came down to what was a two-way guess for the club finesse.

Board 26
East Deals
Both Vul
K Q 9 4
Q J 8 7 4
10 6
6 3
10 5 3
K Q J 3 2
A J 10 4
W   E
9 5 3 2
A 9 7 5 4
K 9 2
A J 8 7 6
A K 10
Q 8 7 5


If West gets to play in 5Diamond-small, North will get to lead Spade-smallK and should get the Spade-smallJ from South asking for a heart switch (higher of the other suits)…or else, South will overtake at trick 1 and try to cash two top hearts. There’s nothing certain after that as South will have turned up with 4 hcp in spades and 7 in hearts. South opened the bidding but North will have values too. Would you have finessed correctly to make 5Diamond-small?

At 21 tables, North-South played unmolested in 4Spade-small while 7 North-Souths got it right by bidding on to 5Spade-small. Three of those pairs received the singleton heart lead which allowed 5Spade-small to be made.

8 West players got to play 5Diamond-small, all making it with 7 of them making it doubled. The other 2 tables played in 4Diamond-small, once doubled.   So, the 5 level does not always belong to the opposition. All this hand proves is there are always exceptions to every rule. The challenge is to spot them!

Round 7 Board 10

Board 10
East Deals
Both Vul
K J 8 5 2
K Q 10 6 4 2
A 10
8 7 3
A 10 9 8 7 5 2
W   E
9 7 6 4 3
J 6 5
A 9 3
A K Q 10 9 4
8 7 5
6 4 3
West North East South
    Pass 2 
Pass 2 NT Pass 3 
Pass 3 NT All pass  


Had Jan Alabaster, West, overcalled 3Club-small, there would have been no story. Yet, why overcall when you have Grant Jarvis as your partner? Grant reasoned that with insufficient entries, his spades were too weak to set up. So, he looked elsewhere and thought there was the possibility of quicker tricks if partner has a few clubs!

Jan certainly did! Yet, the defensive job was not done yet. Jan won her ace and knowing there was a blockage, played back Club-small10 telling Grant her entry was in the highest suit, spades. So, back to Club-smallJ and back to Jan who reeled off her clubs. A mishap at the end left the Diamond-smallA uncashed but +400 was a very healthy return, more than covering their teammates whose opposition managed to cash 3 aces against 5Diamond-small.

7 tables bid and made the unmakeable 4Heart-small while most of the rest of the North-South pairs recorded -100.

and on a spade lead?

The other pair in 3NT made their contract after a spade lead. Ironically, if West makes the most unusual duck of the opening lead, declarer should still be two down as declarer can only take 6 hearts and the opening spade before losing the lead. Alternatively, even after spade to the ace and a spade return still beats this zany contract as long as East throws one club on the run of the hearts.

Nevertheless, it’s much easier on the defence if you can take the first 8 or 9 tricks rather than have to discard!

Jan Roose  Tony Biddington Janis Franc.JPG                                       David Skipper, Ella and Tim Schumacher.JPG
Jan Roose, Tony Biddington, Janis Franc                                    David Skipper,Ella Pattison and Tim Schumacher
 and Judith Driver, the top placed team with                                 who finished 4th along with the "missing" Johnny Davidson.
less than 751 combined Rating Points. They                               Pictured with John Wignall.
finished a very creditable 14th. (with John Wignall)

So, a most enjoyable weekend, a high standard good quality event which hopefully Palmerston North will match when that club hosts the North Island Teams next month.

Richard Solomon




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